Category: Holiday Picks

Ways to have the best 4th of July. Happy 239th birthday America!

Happy 4th of July everyone! Wow, there’s so much to celebrate right now. Our advice for the day:   Be safe out there. Fire up the grill. Make the best BBQ sauce ever. Eat all the foods. Distract the kids with a fun fireworks app while you eat all the foods.   4th of July Blueberry Pie | CosmoCookie     Wear stars and stripes. Don’t forget to bring your lawn chair to the parade. Wave back to the firefighters a little more than everyone else. Make your own sparklers. Make your own last minute crafts with these free printables. Do fun...

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The ultimate roundup of last-minute Easter ideas: Crafts, printables, egg dyeing help, and lots and lots of treats.

If you’re looking out for some last minute Easter ideas, we are here for you! You’ve still got a couple of days to whip up some fun treats, set up the kids with cute crafts, print out some coloring pages, or just figure out whether the Easter eggs will be submerged in dye the classic way, or subjected to wads of yarn, sequins, or printable crowns and mustaches. Whatever your plans for Easter, we just hope you all have fun doing it together. And be sure not to miss our last-minute Easter idea guide, newly updated for 2017 with even...

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The most fun printable Haggadah for kids we’ve ever seen

While mostly what kids look forward to in a Passover Seder is finding the matzoh, reading the four questions and stuffing their faces with as many macaroons or chocolate-covered Matzoh as possible, a few years back we discovered a clever Passover Haggadah for kids that I think gives them one more reason to look forward to the holiday. And now, what’s better, it’s been turned into a printable Haggadah so it’s even easier to get your hands on it. Equal parts conversation starter and interactive activity book in the style of Taro Gomi, My Haggadah: Made it Myself by Francine Hermelin Levite is a remarkably...

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Ridiculously delicious, all-natural Easter candy options that earns their place in the basket. Bring it on Easter bunny.

Let’s be honest: Easter candy is pretty much sugar and more sugar mixed with high fructose corn syrup with a dash of artificial food coloring. And we love every bite. I’m a believer in everything in moderation and am all for Easter being one of two days a year when we throw moderation for candy out the window. That said, if we can add a few all-natural options to the basket, I’m all for that, too. When all-natural Easter candy is as good as these 7 finds, why not. Related: Outrageously gourmet Easter treats that are not for sharing with the kids Little...

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6 easy St. Patrick’s Day crafts for kids that look pretty darn cute.

As we all know, everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day, so even my family dons the green and plays some jigs on March 17th. And though we don’t go crazy decorating our house with shamrocks or setting up leprechaun traps, there are plenty of easy, kid-friendly crafts we can do to celebrate the Emerald Isles on this day. I pared it down to six cool craft ideas that go beyond sticking shamrock stickers on green plastic hats. (Not that that can’t be fun for kids too!) DIY Green Clay Bead Necklace (tutorial, Tuts+) Okay so this definitely is the least easy...

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19 very (very) special non-candy Easter basket gifts kids will love.

Between school parties and Easter baskets from their grandparents, my kids will be coming home with chocolate bunnies and cream-filled eggs to last us till the Fourth of July. So I’ve been looking for some extra special Easter basket gifts for kids that go beyond what you might find on your drugstore shelves. They’re perfect for those of you who want to ease up on the sugar; or for kids like ours, who are already going to have more than their fill from other sources. Mix them in with some traditional Easter fare (it is hard to resist jellybeans after all), or limit...

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7 easy school lunch ideas for St. Patrick’s Day from rainbow fruit to leprechaun sandwiches. (Contains no actual leprechauns.)

St. Patrick’s Day falls on a weekday this year which means it’s time to get festive with your kid’s bento box. (How’s that for a super specific column for you? St. Patrick’s Day Bento Lunches.) Don’t worry: You don’t need a PhD in crafts—or even the luck of the Irish—to take on these school lunch ideas for St. Patrick’s Day. Each is simple to make, even after a couple of pints of Guinness. Kidding. Kind of. Related: 5 copycat Shamrock Shake recipes. You can even pack them in a Thermos.    Don’t fret if you don’t have a set of...

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Last minute Christmas help from gifts to apps: We’re all over it.

Need some last minute Christmas help? We are here for you, friends!   16 last minute ideas for Christmas gifts you can still get 40 creative stocking stuffer ideas, beyond bubbles The best gift card apps to make last-minute gifts easier 6 fun Santa apps for kids to help prove he’s real 7 of the best apps and websites for sending last-minute holiday ecards Handmade craft gift ideas that kids can make themselves Tons of gorgeous free printable gift tags and gift wrap 14 creative gift wrap ideas Easy holiday table setting ideas for a dinner with kids How to take better...

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11 ideas for end-of-year family photo books to make them even more special

We are the first to admit that we get so caught up in getting gifts for others (and recommending them for you all!) that sometimes, we forget to devote the time to our own memory-making keepsake gifts. One great idea that Kristen puts to use every year: once the holiday craziness has died down, she hits the photo book sites (some of which offer great post-Christmas discounts) and makes an end-of-year family photo book.  That way she can actually include all of those special Christmas morning and New Year’s Eve photos which never make it into holiday photo book gifts....

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16 fantastic last-minute Christmas gift ideas: It’s never too late!

Breaking news: We’ve got two days until Christmas. And I’m guessing I’m not the only one who hasn’t finished holiday shopping yet. Deep breath. Don’t panic. And don’t break your budget on $39 overnight shipping just because you get desperate. Instead, snag one of these easy, last-minute Christmas gift ideas, which can all be pulled together quickly. There’s something here for every price range too. And, just like that, your holidays are saved. The great thing about last-minute gifts is that they can inspire you to think outside the box and shop for things you may not normally think of, which can end up making...

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15 hilariously funny Christmas cards you may need some cajones to send

Every year, I love finding funny holiday cards available online, so many from cool small designers and shops that don’t have shareholders on their boards who look at the holiday card messages and say Are you kidding? We can’t sell that into Walgreen’s! Here are some of the best funny Christmas cards we found this year. No fruitcake jokes, “your gift is this card” jokes, no Christmas ball jokes. You know what we mean. If you have the kinds of friends and family on your list who can take a Christmas card joke, then you may have the best gift of...

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The ultimate subscription gift box gift guide: 10 cool subscription gift boxes that keep on giving

Yes, Hanukkah is here and Christmas is coming (fast) but no need to panic if you still have VIPs to shop for on your list and are scrambling for last-minute gift ideas. By now, you’ve surely heard of the magic of subscription gift boxes as gifts: Just sign up and they’ll regularly send a curated box of goodies for new parents, dads, kids, foodies, dogs (yes, dogs), as well as boxes for just about any special interest you can imagine, from coffee lovers to geekery. We’ve seen them all, and recommended our favorite over the years. Along with the subscription gift...

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Wait wait, don’t tell me: Awesome gifts from NPR

Working in the independent music world, I have a high esteem for non-commercial radio and of course the mother of it all, NPR. Supporting public radio is so important to me, as they rely heavily on listener funding to stay afloat. So if you find yourself still looking for that clever gift for the in-tune intellectual on your list, I’ve got some ideas for awesome NPR gifts from their incredibly smart and hip shop. You know, should you already have an Ira Glass finger puppet.   We love reusable grocery bags and naturally a bag is a great place to proclaim your love for public...

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O LEGO tree, O LEGO tree…

If all your kids want for Christmas is more LEGO pieces to add to their never big enough collection, they’ll be thrilled to discover that you can even cover the Christmas tree with those beloved bricks in the form of LEGO ornaments. Here are three great shops to start to help them on their quest for LEGO domination of the world! Or okay, maybe just Christmas tree domination.   If your LEGO fanatics like the building part of LEGO most of all, they’ll be thrilled to receive one of LEGO building master Chris McVeigh’s LEGO ornament kits. I absolutely love the modern designs and cool...

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Holiday food gifts for future chefs—or any kid who likes ice cream and chocolate.

There may be more talk of picky eaters than foodie kids, but some kids really dig food. I know for sure that these seemingly rare creatures exist because I happen to be mother to one. My older son loves eating, looking at food magazines, and is fearless in the kitchen. If you’ve got one like him on your hands too, and are like, eh, he has enough toys…then check out these fun ideas for holiday food gifts for kids. And come to think of it, take a look at these holiday food gifts even if you have a picky eater. Sometimes giving...

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We pity the fool who doesn’t love this Mr. T holiday onesie

If there was anything ever that made me think to myself boy I wish I had a baby right now it’s this hilarious Mr. T holiday onesie by Cool Mom Picks favorite Mi Cielo. This isn’t the first time I’ve been in love with the baby gifts from Mi Cielo. You might have seen owner Kayo Master’s work on our site several times before, including in our baby shower gift guide, but this holiday Mr. T onesie takes the cake. Or smashes it to bits. Each onesie is made by hand, available in newborn size up through 18 months, and unofficially guaranteed...

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8 fun Hanukkah gift ideas for kids, one for every night. Shopping done!

Compared to last year (holy Thanksgivukkah!), it may seem like we have tons of time to prep for Hanukkah, but I have a feeling that the time will fly. Quickly. Before we know it, we’ll be on the hook for eight crazy nights of festivities and, probably Hanukkah gifts for your kids, too. Of course, all of the toys and gifts in this year’s Cool Mom Picks gift guide make great options, especially our ideas for Baby’s First Hanukkah if you have a new baby or toddler. But for older kids, I’ve tracked down these great Hanukkah gifts for kids...

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40 creative stocking stuffer ideas for kids: Beyond bubbles and Play-Doh.

I’m always looking for cool stocking stuffer ideas for my kids. I mean, we all know that you can get bubbles and Play-Doh and packs of stickers but I like to get a little more more creative when I can. So I’ve put together these 40 stocking stuffers for kids, thanks in part to our partner Alliance Rubber who makes the kinds of things you might not think to put in stockings…until you see their awesome rubber band ball. And hey, this kind of post is personal for me. In my family, we used to end up with so much plastic joke gifts and crappy stuff that...

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Edible gifts for Hanukkah: 9 tasty treats to order for all, big and small.

With 8 days of gift giving, Hanukkah is a time for creativity: Something they need, something they want, and so on and so forth until you get to something they can eat. These edible gifts for Hanukkah are a perfect addition to the holiday mix and also make great hostess and family gifts. There’s a tasty little treat in here for everyone, from big to small, silly to gourmet.   Edible gifts for Hanukkah for kids Ugly Hanukkah Sweater Cookie Why should Christmas get all the ugly sweater fun? These adorable Ugly Hanukkah Sweater cookies are hysterical and, made...

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The little Christmas tree that’s not a Charlie Brown tree

If you’re short on space, before you spring for any new holiday decorations this year, check out Milani’s bright and bouncy beechwood-and-steel small modern Christmas tree on a Spring which does a great job of combining contemporary and fun. It’s small, but doesn’t look kie a Charlie Brown tree. And hey, it won’t shed needles all over your floor. At 12-inches high, this tree doesn’t need a lot of space to liven up a room and, though I love it as is, it can be customized with your own small ornaments and decorations. Grab it in green, red, blue, or multicolored, or set...

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The best Thanksgiving wines for $20 or less, plus tips for picking your own holiday wine (no snobbery included).

You’ve planned and prepped for your Thanksgiving meal and then suddenly you remember: wine! (Or is that just me?) I generally drink wines I like, no matter what’s on the table–I’m easy that way. The Thanksgiving challenge is that there’s so much on the table, with so many bold, rich flavors, it’s hard to figure out how to pair wines with Thanksgiving dinner.  However putting a little bit of thought into your Thanksgiving wines can help keep you from serving ones that clash with the many flavors of the day. Nothing too fancy, though; all of my Thanksgiving wine picks are $20...

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giftabls mini gift boxes: When a regular greeting card isn’t quite enough.

The gift-giving season is nearly upon us, which means it’s time to think about recognizing all of those people who deserve a little something. For something that’s just a step up from a card, but not quite , I love the ready-packaged giftabls gift kits which include little tokens like a selection of teas, chocolates, fortune cookies, and even some New Year’s ready-confetti. Choose from several thoughtfully curated small presents, type in your gift message, and the company does the rest. Even down to a hand-written note inside the box.     If you want to put together your own little goodies or find a creative way...

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Wonderful vintage Christmas ornaments and decor on Etsy: And a very merry, mid-century Christmas to you too.

I think bringing vintage Christmas ornaments and other goodies into your celebration can bring so much personality to your holiday table setting and the rest of your decor. I really love mid-century items, so anything past the late ’60s gets a little modern kitsch for me–not that there aren’t a few goodies. So I’ve combed Etsy and put together some spectacular vintage Christmas ornaments and other finds I hope you’ll love as much as I do. Hey, sometimes one perfect, perfectly cool ornament makes the perfect little gift and it hasn’t cost you much at all.   Mid-century Christmas tree ornament...

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10 cool custom photo gifts for the holidays

If your kids are like mine, it’s no small feat to actually get one fabulous, shareable photo of them. So when I have a perfect one, I love looking at ways to incorporate it into great custom photo gifts for people on my list I know will appreciate it (hello, grandparents). This year, I’m really digging the growing collection of excellent custom photo gifts from Minted. We are so so happy to have them back as a sponsor (we love you, Minted!) because long before they were, we were fans of Minted holiday cards, which are not only printed beautifully, but help to support so many amazingly talented indie designers...

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Adorable personalized wooden ornaments for kids who wants to see their own names on the tree. That’s, all of them.

Every Christmas, one of my kids’ favorite things to do is reminisce about each ornament as we hang it on the tree. Sure, it takes us a long time to get the whole thing decorated, but we love trying to remember the story behind each one, and some of the most special are those personalized ornaments we own, customized with names, dates, or pictures right on them. So when I saw the simple and lovely personalized wooden ornaments (they’re bamboo!) from the family-run Graphic Spaces Wood featured in our gift guide in our list of cool personalized gifts for kids, I knew my family needed one. Or...

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Modern holiday table setting tips: A huge array of ideas to keep it easy, affordable, and fun!

Let me first be totally upfront: The idea of setting a holiday table kind of terrifies me. I am not someone who can just effortlessly whip up an Elsa’s castle centerpiece made of handmade gingerbread, or pick up a calligraphy pen and go to town on place cards. I don’t even own fancy china or “holiday” dinnerware because we tend to have holiday dinners elsewhere. I quietly envy the spectacular holiday table settings and place card ideas on Pinterest, and repin them, but in my head I’m thinking, yeah, right. In other words, I’m not living the glorious home decor blogger dream. I’m...

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It’s here! It’s here! Our 2014 Holiday Gift Guide has arrived.

We are so SO excited to present our 2014 holiday gift guide, our biggest and best yet, if we do say so ourselves. You’ll find 20 pages of absolutely amazing holiday gift ideas (over 200 to be exact) for everyone on your list in every price range, all scoured from the ends of the earth by our intrepid Cool Mom elves. (Okay, from the ends of the Internet. Same thing these days.) As always, when you shop from our guide, you’re supporting a whole lot of small brands and indie artists, including our absolutely awesome sponsor, Micro Kickboard. They...

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12 of the most spectacular advent calendars to help you count down to Christmas

Before you deck the halls, make sure you have your advent calendar ready so you can count down the days to the night before Christmas. It’s a tradition that my kids enjoy so much,  we have a few set up around the house to remind us how much longer they have to wait for their favorite day to arrive. And whether you are super crafty, want to print a DIY calendar at home, or would rather purchase something you can use year after year, we’ve rounded up a dozen options for you to have ready by the first of December. Prices and...

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The sterling silver Starbucks gift card: A grande gesture.

While all the Starbucks gift cards over the years have been pretty cool, I’m person number 65,474 who saw the brand new, limited edition sterling silver Starbucks gift card and immediately knew someone on my list would be needing one. Which is easily why you can’t even get one online anymore. But if you do pop into your favorite Starbucks, or hey, even the Starbucks across the street from your favorite Starbucks (that one was for the Christopher Guest fans) you can grab one in person. And yes, it’s real, jewelry-quality 925 sterling silver and comes in that gorgeous pouch. It’s a $200 card with $50...

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